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Highmark West Virginia teams up with West Virginia Black Bears for "Strikeouts for Charity" campaign

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

All proceeds go to Variety the Children's Charity

PARKERSBURG, W.Va (June 25, 2015) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia and the West Virginia Black Bears, the Mountain State's newest minor league baseball team, are kicking off a Strikeouts for Charity campaign for the team's inaugural season. Each time a Black Bears pitcher strikes out an opposing batter during a home game, Highmark West Virginia will donate $5 to Variety the Children's Charity.

"Through Strikeouts for Charity, Highmark West Virginia and the West Virginia Black Bears have the opportunity to spotlight an organization that is making a difference in our communities," said Highmark West Virginia President Fred Earley. "Our support of Variety the Children's Charity will help children with disabilities access services and programs that will enable them to have a greater quality of life."

Variety the Children's Charity enables children with disabilities to live life to the fullest through programs and services that allow children to gain the freedom to be active, involved and accepted throughout 32 counties in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. Through its "My Bike" program, Variety provides adaptive bikes that are individually customized for kids with disabilities, so they can experience the joy, freedom and belonging that is created through riding a bike. Since 2012, Variety has presented more than 800 adaptive bikes to children, and is currently accepting applications for the program.

"Variety the Children's Charity is honored to be the beneficiary of this year's Strikeouts for Charity," said Charles LaVallee, CEO, Variety. "It is only through the sincere support of community partners like Highmark and the West Virginia Black Bears that Variety has been able to impact children with disabilities and give them opportunities to discover the possibilities for their own lives."

"The Black Bears are thrilled to be partnering with two great organizations in Variety the Children's Charity and Highmark West Virginia with our Strikeouts for Charity campaign all season long at Monongalia County Ballpark," said John Pogorzelski, assistant GM and sales manager, West Virginia Black Bears. "It is a great opportunity to spread the word on a fabulous cause."

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia serves approximately 280,000 customers through the company's health care benefits business and also serves tens of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Highmark West Virginia employs approximately 800 people in Parkersburg, Charleston and Wheeling. Highmark West Virginia is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.
For more information, contact:
Kristy Cramlet
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia
304-424-9888
kristy.cramlet@highmarkhealth.org